Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

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N. Needleman
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby N. Needleman » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:14 pm

I think whatever the Fireman intended, Cooper failed. He made it about himself. "The dashing young Agent Cooper" finally kills two birds with one stone after 25 years.

There is reason to believe in branching timelines/universes because Lynch has played with them for years in his post-TP work and discussed them at length, as I believe has Frost. I believe Cooper created another malformed one - or entered into it, possibly crafted by Judy - when he meddled with Laura's fate. He and Diane (and likely the unwilling Laura, who became Carrie) crossed into it, leaving the Twin Peaks universe we know behind. He didn't realize the extent of what he'd done or how it would trap them all.

I also believe Cooper's preoccupation with not just Laura but with fighting evil and saving innocents, writing wrongs and fighting his own demons in that way is well-established, not just in the original series and his S2 backstory but also in FWWM - where he obsesses over the next victim of Teresa Banks' killer and how he can't find her. ("She's crying out for help")
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Pinky » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:18 pm

Ashok wrote:
FlyingSquirrel wrote:I'm not sure that Cooper's problem is exactly a hero complex so much as thinking he has more understanding and control of the supernatural forces at work. The fact that The Fireman alluded to Richard and Linda and 430 doesn't mean that he was actually telling Cooper to "cross over," or that Cooper would necessarily understand what's supposed to happen after crossing over even if that was the Fireman's attention. Maybe he was never meant to find "Carrie" or take her to Twin Peaks and Laura was trying to warn him *not* to do that when she told him "I am dead, yet I live."


Is there any reason to believe with absolutely certainty that Cooper failed? I'm honestly not sure what to make of the Fireman myself, but I don't see anything that would suggest the Fireman DIDN'T want Cooper to "cross over" either. At least he didn't say "don't remember 430".



Major Briggs wanted him to go, too. He told Coop about his Great Northern key and what door it would open. By this point, DoppelCoop and BOB had been defeated. Briggs meant him to go further.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby N. Needleman » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:23 pm

Pinky wrote:
Ashok wrote:
FlyingSquirrel wrote:I'm not sure that Cooper's problem is exactly a hero complex so much as thinking he has more understanding and control of the supernatural forces at work. The fact that The Fireman alluded to Richard and Linda and 430 doesn't mean that he was actually telling Cooper to "cross over," or that Cooper would necessarily understand what's supposed to happen after crossing over even if that was the Fireman's attention. Maybe he was never meant to find "Carrie" or take her to Twin Peaks and Laura was trying to warn him *not* to do that when she told him "I am dead, yet I live."


Is there any reason to believe with absolutely certainty that Cooper failed? I'm honestly not sure what to make of the Fireman myself, but I don't see anything that would suggest the Fireman DIDN'T want Cooper to "cross over" either. At least he didn't say "don't remember 430".



Major Briggs wanted him to go, too. He told Coop about his Great Northern key and what door it would open. By this point, DoppelCoop and BOB had been defeated. Briggs meant him to go further.


I think what the White Lodge/Briggs wanted Cooper to do and what he deduced that he should do are likely two different things. From what Gordon says about talking to Cooper in 1989, the pre-Lodge Coop had some variation on his grand plan in mind long before he got lost in the spirit world.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Pinky » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:24 pm

N. Needleman wrote:I think whatever the Fireman intended, Cooper failed. He made it about himself. "The dashing young Agent Cooper" finally kills two birds with one stone after 25 years.

There is reason to believe in branching timelines/universes because Lynch has played with them for years in his post-TP work and discussed them at length, as I believe has Frost. I believe Cooper created another malformed one - or entered into it, possibly crafted by Judy - when he meddled with Laura's fate. He and Diane (and likely the unwilling Laura, who became Carrie) crossed into it, leaving the Twin Peaks universe we know behind. He didn't realize the extent of what he'd done or how it would trap them all.

I also believe Cooper's preoccupation with not just Laura but with fighting evil and saving innocents, writing wrongs and fighting his own demons in that way is well-established, not just in the original series and his S2 backstory but also in FWWM - where he obsesses over the next victim of Teresa Banks' killer and how he can't find her. ("She's crying out for help")


i'm not sure at all that he failed. He's been experiencing adversity ever since crossing over. He lost Diane, he's on some level aware that he's not himself anymore, Laura is actually Carrie Paige... but he's still muddling through. The discovery that it's not the Palmer House is his latest setback, but just when there is no clue left to turn to, he begins to think, gets enough control of the situation to at least be asking himself the right questions. And at this moment, Carrie screams. So the game has changed. I think there's every possibility that they're about to get through this situation, too, it's just that this is the moment Lynch ends it on for maximum (cliffhanger) effect.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Pinky » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:29 pm

N. Needleman wrote:
Pinky wrote:
Ashok wrote:
Is there any reason to believe with absolutely certainty that Cooper failed? I'm honestly not sure what to make of the Fireman myself, but I don't see anything that would suggest the Fireman DIDN'T want Cooper to "cross over" either. At least he didn't say "don't remember 430".



Major Briggs wanted him to go, too. He told Coop about his Great Northern key and what door it would open. By this point, DoppelCoop and BOB had been defeated. Briggs meant him to go further.


I think what the White Lodge/Briggs wanted Cooper to do and what he deduced that he should do are likely two different things. From what Gordon says about talking to Cooper in 1989, the pre-Lodge Coop had some variation on his grand plan in mind long before he got lost in the spirit world.


I wondered about his message to Gordon, too, but I took it to be Lodge related. At the point he speaks to Gordon he's had several encounters with the place, and if he's been in there, he's access to the Fireman's '430'' message.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Novalis » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:02 pm

There's a very famous theory in literary history that all stories about doppelgangers are ultimately about narcissism. Not saying I completely agree with that, just floating it out there, because it can make for an interesting optic on TP, especially the reading Needleman has proposed. Cooper for one is someone who has from the very beginning been so full of himself, so in love with being Cooper and acting the corny way he does, that he pretty much invited the doppelganger in. His self-love is really palpable in the original run -- strange for someone who claims to be enlightened in the ways of Tibetan Lamas. And then the doppelganger his narcissism and attachment to himself creates outwits him and gets him trapped beyond the pale.

When he returns, in this series, he goes through a long gruelling trial of having lost himself; he's suffering for his sins in a way that suggests when he 'wakes up' he will have learned a valuable lesson about not being so attached to his FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper personality. But no, instead he appears to have learned very little. 'I am the FBI' he proclaims, and proceeds to try and save everyone. Not so much because of a selfless impulse to do good, but because he wants to be the one to do it. That's narcissism in a nutshell, and that's why he fails.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby cgs027 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Novalis wrote:There's a very famous theory in literary history that all stories about doppelgangers are ultimately about narcissism. Not saying I completely agree with that, just floating it out there, because it can make for an interesting optic on TP.


Honest question -- can we not apply this to the whole Gordon Cole/DKL dynamic at play here? We see him luring random ladies back to his hotel room, bragging about his well-functioning c*ck, etc... I am really curious how people feel about some of these portrayals of Gordon Cole as some sort of Lothario... Yes, I suppose the kiss with Shelly probably played a part in some of this arc, but seems a bit heavy handed (and as said above -- narcissistic).
Last edited by cgs027 on Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Novalis » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:28 pm

It's a good question.

I really don't have any kind of answer to hand, but I will give it some thought.

To be honest I wasn't thrilled with Cole's preening peacockery in front of the ladies, but I did wonder in a particularly charitable moment if it was something DKL was trying to portray as endemic to the FBI -- the self-admittedly 'old school', unreconstructed adventures-for-boys postwar comic book feel to it. Albert kind of scuppers that, although there is that one scene where he admires Tammy's rear as she walks away, with nods and winks to Cole. I suppose narcissism, insofar as it mainly characterises the male characters, feeds somewhat into the gender issues described elsewhere on this forum. Sylvia_north and Cipher have posted some really good observations on Cole in the gender thread, and I've seen some good points being made about it in the profoundly disappointed thread too.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Manwith » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:08 pm

Ashok wrote:
FlyingSquirrel wrote:I'm not sure that Cooper's problem is exactly a hero complex so much as thinking he has more understanding and control of the supernatural forces at work. The fact that The Fireman alluded to Richard and Linda and 430 doesn't mean that he was actually telling Cooper to "cross over," or that Cooper would necessarily understand what's supposed to happen after crossing over even if that was the Fireman's attention. Maybe he was never meant to find "Carrie" or take her to Twin Peaks and Laura was trying to warn him *not* to do that when she told him "I am dead, yet I live."


Is there any reason to believe with absolutely certainty that Cooper failed? I'm honestly not sure what to make of the Fireman myself, but I don't see anything that would suggest the Fireman DIDN'T want Cooper to "cross over" either. At least he didn't say "don't remember 430".


I think Cooper is working for the Fireman. Unfortunately he's just a pawn in a cosmic chess game, and like his Doppleganger and Bob,is probably doomed. Judy is too powerful. Her conflict with the Fireman will go on for infinity, and through countless iterations of time. He's trapped in an endless game of cosmic chess- ultimately he's in a similar place to where he was at the end of season 2- in over his head, reality as an agent of the Fireman is as bad as being in the red room forever- Cooper is a good guy in an an infinite battle he will never win.

It's also absurd that an FBI agent thought they could handle Judy. The blue rose team was way over their head. An opponent that can alter time is too powerful to defeat, even with the Fireman's help. Cooper tried to alter time himself, and got nowhere. He's a pawn trying to take down a higher dimensional queen without success.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Manwith » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:15 pm

One blogger's take on the pessimism in the end:
Where are we at the end of Twin Peaks: The Return?

We’re where we started. Cooper is trapped someplace terrible and sad; Audrey is a girl in trouble in the midst of a cliffhanger whose fate we can never know other than to know it is baaaad; and there’s still some kindness and love in the world (Big Ed, Harry Dean Stanton, etc.), but the bad guys are winning.


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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Framed_Angel » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:09 pm

Novalis wrote:There's a very famous theory in literary history that all stories about doppelgangers are ultimately about narcissism. Not saying I completely agree with that, just floating it out there, because it can make for an interesting optic on TP...Cooper for one is someone who has from the very beginning been so full of himself, so in love with being Cooper and acting the corny way he does, that he pretty much invited the doppelganger in. His self-love is really palpable in the original run -- strange for someone who claims to be enlightened in the ways of Tibetan Lamas. And then the doppelganger his narcissism and attachment to himself creates outwits him and gets him trapped beyond the pale. When he returns, in this series, he goes through a long gruelling trial of having lost himself; he's suffering for his sins in a way that suggests when he 'wakes up' he will have learned a valuable lesson about not being so attached to his FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper personality. But no, instead he appears to have learned very little. 'I am the FBI' he proclaims, and proceeds to try and save everyone. Not so much because of a selfless impulse to do good, but because he wants to be the one to do it. That's narcissism in a nutshell, and that's why he fails.
I can't buy the narcissism paintbrush of Cooper. It feels more like reshaping the character to fit the narrative than vice versa.

Rewatching FWWM recently with Sheriff Cable acting huffy toward "We don't need no F-B-I around here". And Agents Desmond and Stanley were warned in advance (by Lil/ Cole) that locals would be suspicious of FBI. So Desmond opts for intimidation tactics and even violence.

But that wasn't Cooper's way. His questioning of people like Bobby or James, in S1, kept a cool head. Even affable, but direct with questioning. The viewer was shown his penchant for quirky mannerisms and reliance on intuition. He actually develops shared kinship with local enforcement rather than alienating them. At other times, viewers see him relaxing with his small pleasures such as cups of coffee or hanging from gravity boots to align the spine or maybe circulate blood to the head... wooden carved whistles.. Does this paint a picture of a narcissist? I detect dreamlike quality and hedonistic pursuit of in-the-moment wonder, and yes he occasionally got things wrong as when his intuition failed to bring his attention to Audrey's note under the bed, got distracted at Dead Dog farm, or he slipped up on some important clues left by Windom.

I found the garmonbozia stuff more intriguing as a way to target Cooper if that's what BOB or LMFAP were after; by finding whatever vulnerability in Cooper (thus inducing a Doppelganger) whether falling in love or sowing confusion where he normally had-it-together - - thus creating some new sorrow or suffering in the special agent where it hadn't existed to the extent it did in such as Laura. Whether to feed on that garmonbozia or use Dale as a pawn toward finding it in others.

Maybe rambling at Diane in the cassette-recorder was something of a narcissistic thing to do, but I think S3 has presented us with more complex possible reasons for that! :?
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby claaa7 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:17 pm

Ross wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:
N. Needleman wrote:
Me neither.


I think Laura's corpse literally being erased from existence is a piece of evidence that supports this reading. But I personally don't believe anything was changed in the original universe, either. I think Coop MAY have briefly altered the timeline, but it jumped right back to the way it was (hence the skipping-record noise?) when he lost Laura. Alternatively, whenever you change the past, you don't alter the existing universe but create a new one which branches off at that moment...so even if Coop had succeeded, the corpse-less world becomes Earth-2. Earth-1 still goes as it always did in the original show.

This is how I took it as well. I actually lean more towards the first- that Cooper tried to change things, but the universe said "no". Laura vanishes, and the original timeline is restored. Cooper's mistake was trying to "save" Laura when she had already saved herself. (Even though the Giant did have a hand in guiding him there).


But if he didnt succeed in changing Lauras death why was she forcefully removed from the lodge? Lynch even intercuts to this to let us know of a relation
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby mine » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:28 am

FlyingSquirrel wrote:
mine wrote:The whole rationale based on Cooper having a hero complex has one huge weak point. Cooper did barely anything heroic out of his own nature alone. He was always put on that path by either the people who wanted to be saved by him, the FBI when it comes to Laura's case or the entities from the surreal realm when it comes to whatever their machinations were. Even in retrospect Cooper trying to dissuade Laura from taking the ring is consistent with the notion that he was following The Fireman's instructions because whatever Laura was the chosen one for, she needed to be alive to fulfill her destiny (she just needed a dude to guide her, because hey it's Twin Peaks) which is what the finale was all about.
There is a better argument to be made that he is at the core a tropy super hero character. He doesn't always conclude his missions successfully, but so doesn't every super hero ever at some point.


The ring has always been a bit of an enigma, though to me there's a simpler and relatively innocent explanation for Cooper warning Laura not to take it: The Arm is the one offering it to her. Cooper has just learned that The Arm is, well, The Arm, and he knows that Philip/MIKE lost his arm when making his break with BOB. So he probably puts 2 and 2 together and figures that The Arm represents the more malevolent aspect of MIKE's personality and should not be trusted.

I'm not sure that Cooper's problem is exactly a hero complex so much as thinking he has more understanding and control of the supernatural forces at work than he actually does. The fact that The Fireman alluded to Richard and Linda and 430 doesn't mean that he was actually telling Cooper to "cross over," or that Cooper would necessarily understand what's supposed to happen after crossing over even if that was the Fireman's intention. Maybe he was never meant to find "Carrie" or take her to Twin Peaks and Laura was trying to warn him *not* to do that when she told him "I am dead, yet I live."

As Cooper himself said, the shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line. Involve the Lodge spirits, and the shortest distance between two points may well be a ten-dimensional M.C. Escher drawing.

But Laura's remark can just as well mean she lives in a parallel universe which is not inconsistent with the finale. Relatively speaking there's far more indicating Cooper was fulfilling what the spirits needed him to and was on the right track than whichever version of Cooper being a moron and causing a clusterfuck. The strongest argument to the contrary ironically comes from expectations or understandings of Lynch in general, not The Return itself. This implies that The Return failed at communicating what it intended to , people just count as if did based on what they assume Lynch wanted to convey with it.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Ross » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:40 am

claaa7 wrote:
Ross wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:
I think Laura's corpse literally being erased from existence is a piece of evidence that supports this reading. But I personally don't believe anything was changed in the original universe, either. I think Coop MAY have briefly altered the timeline, but it jumped right back to the way it was (hence the skipping-record noise?) when he lost Laura. Alternatively, whenever you change the past, you don't alter the existing universe but create a new one which branches off at that moment...so even if Coop had succeeded, the corpse-less world becomes Earth-2. Earth-1 still goes as it always did in the original show.

This is how I took it as well. I actually lean more towards the first- that Cooper tried to change things, but the universe said "no". Laura vanishes, and the original timeline is restored. Cooper's mistake was trying to "save" Laura when she had already saved herself. (Even though the Giant did have a hand in guiding him there).


But if he didnt succeed in changing Lauras death why was she forcefully removed from the lodge? Lynch even intercuts to this to let us know of a relation

Cooper does briefly change things. We see this. But he's fucking with things he shouldn't. The universe steps in and removes Laura, displacing her.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Ashok » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:56 am

claaa7 wrote:But if he didnt succeed in changing Lauras death why was she forcefully removed from the lodge? Lynch even intercuts to this to let us know of a relation


My personal interpretation was that once Cooper returns to 1989, he does successfully "save" Laura which generates a new timeline where Pete doesn't find Laura's body. It's just that Laura doesn't return to this new divergent timeline, she is translocated to the Richard/Linda reality that exists independent of Coop's actions (most likely due to Lodge influence and Judy or you could argue it's the universe "course correcting").

The one thing I'm still confused by though is the brief window of time between the Sheriff station and Great Northern scenes when Cooper's face is superimposed over the screen. I'm not really sure what was going on there? Also why were there two Dianes at the motel?
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